The Lagos State Government has expressed its readiness to collaborate with members of the NDLEA Celebrity Drug Free Club (NCDFC) and Crime Reporters of Nigeria (CRAN) to address the menace of drug abuse among students and youths across the State. The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Segun Dawodu made the commitment when he received executives and members of the two bodies in his office at Alausa, Ikeja.
Dawodu who received the visitors on a courtesy visit on behalf of the State Governor, Mr. Babjide Sanwo-Olu, promised to incorporate the ideas and ideals of NCDFC and CRAN into its programmes, stressing that the endemic nature which the menace had assumed in recent time, demands a combined force to nip it in the bud. He maintained that although the Ministry was already working on a comprehensive and full drug awareness programme that would last for a whole year, it was practically impossible for the government alone to shoulder the campaign without involving members of the public and some other relevant stakeholders.
In his words; “Drug abuse is a reality that lives with us now, as much as we are making efforts as a government to change the narratives through adequate awareness programmes, yet we can’t do it alone, this is why the concern shown by NCDFC and CRAN is quite noble and must be commended.” He added that the state government is aware of the danger which drug abuse poses to the attainment of its programmes, plans and policies that is why the Ministry is tackling the menace headlong through youth engagements and empowerment, job creation which would in turn help address youth restiveness and aggressive behavior.
He recalled that the determination of the state government to curb drug abuse made the Ministry initiated a campaign tagged LASKADA, meaning; Lagos State Kick Against Drug Abuse to further raise awareness about drug abuse and also assist its victims. Dawodu, however, appealed to NCDFC and CRAN to use their influence as role models and opinion influencers among the youth population to help re-direct the mind of the youth to a more noble and profitable path. “I want to appeal to you as influencers in your own right to use your position to influence these younger ones positively. Some of you have a greater influence on our youth even more than a State Governor, so, the onus is on you not to encourage the use of drugs among youth wittingly or unwittingly,” the Commissioner appealed.